West Area Rotary Technology Tournament



Wednesday the 14th March 2007 saw the West Area Technology Tournament being held at Greenford Assembly Hall, Ruislip Road, Greenford.

The day strated off with 60 students arriving at the hall not knowing what the task was that they were expected to complete.

Once the students had settled themselves into teams of 4, they were given the days task, the intermeddiate task can be seen below;

Your task is to design and build a Vertical Take Off and Landing device to launch a package of meteorological instruments into the air.

The package:

Must be launched using a trigger mechanism Must be launched vertically Must deploy a parachute device at a minimum height of 3 metres Must return to earth as near as possible to the launch site May be contained within a carrier vehicle if you wish

You should read the following notes carefully and ensure that you fulfil the requirements of the task.

You have been given a pack of materials from which your design should be constructed. The package of meteorological instruments is simulated by the ping pong ball and attachments to it are allowed.

It is not permitted to fire the device by holding an elastic band in your fingers. The trigger mechanism is an important aspect of this task. The launcher must be loaded and armed ready for launch for a minimum of 10 seconds with no physical contact. Vertical take off will be judged by your ability to launch the vehicle to pass through a 300mm diameter hoop held 1000mm vertically above your launcher.

You will not be allowed to begin construction for the first 30 minutes, during which time you should carefully consider a minimum of two possible solutions and plan your production.

Marks will be awarded for :

evidence of planning and use of teamwork. analysis of the design problem and awareness of constraints. development work and communication of ideas. quality of construction and appropriate and careful use of materials. degree of innovation and novelty of the trigger mechanism. Successful deployment of the parachute and duration of flight proximity of landing to launch site Your portfolio Good luck and enjoy the challenge.

To achieve the task the students were given the following materials:

Square section wood 10mm x10mm x 600mm Jelutong or pine 4 Wood dowel 4mm diameter 600mm long 1 Rubber bands 75mm x 3mm or similar 4 A4 card about 380 gsm 3 A4 card about 590gsm 1 Garden wire, 1mm thick 4 m (Advanced) Plastic bags to make parachute say medium size freezer bags 1 Welding rod approx 3mm dia. 1 Ping Pong ball 1 Small screw eyes 2 Plastic / Polystyrene cup 1 Reel of cotton (min 4m) 1 Small roll of sellotape 1

The teams attacked the problem with great enthusiasm and it wasn't long before we were seeing a number of differnt designs taking shape.

By 1400 hrs when the final testing came around everyone had completed the task and produced a working model, although it should be said some were more successful than others but everyone achieved the main task of launching the simulated meteorological instruments.